ASSIGNMENT ONE: SELF-ADMINISTERED SURVEY
Your first assignment involves designing an original survey. Each student is expected to choose
a research question and write a survey to answer that question. Remember: This is for practice
only and you will not be distributing the survey. This assignment is worth 100 points and is to
be turned in electronically via Canvas (under Assignments) by MIDNIGHT on Sunday,
PART ONE: RESEARCH QUESTION AND STUDY POPULATION (35 points)
The first portion of your assignment should include a one page (double-spaced) synopsis of your
research question, variables, conceptual definitions, and study population. Remember all
research starts with an idea or interest. Choose a research question that involves two variables
that are measurable using a survey. While this is a criminal justice course, you do have the
option to gear your research question to other relevant areas of interest (social work, public
safety, sociology, management, public affairs, etc.).
• Begin with a title page, which should include your name and class time (1 point)
• The first paragraph should:
o State your research question (make sure it is appropriate for a survey) (4 points)
o State your hypothesis (or what you expect to find) (4 points)
o Correctly identify the independent and dependent variables and the direction of
the relationship (8 points)
• The second paragraph should provide a conceptual definition for both your independent
and dependent variable (6 points)
• The third paragraph should
o Identify the population you want to study (for example- middle-schoolers,
prisoners, the general population of Indianapolis, etc.) (4 points)
o Discuss why the population is appropriate for your research question (4 points)
o Correctly identify the unit of analysis and corresponding category (4 points)
PART TWO: INFORMED CONSENT (20 points)
Remember that we have been discussing all aspects of research design, including ethical
considerations and potential problems in research. As part of this assignment, you must develop
and include an informed consent form. While you can refer back to Chapter 3 PowerPoints and
the text, be sure that the form is in your own words and that it covers ALL SEVEN of the
essential elements of informed consent:
• Description of the purpose of the research (4 points)
• Statement of anonymity/confidentiality (2 points)
• Discuss of risks and benefits (4 points)
• Discuss where subjects should go for information on the research project AND their
rights as a research participant (4 points)
• Explanation of the voluntary nature of the research (4 points)
• Statement regarding the summary of the findings (2 points)
The informed consent form should be appropriately worded for the survey population.
Remember, your consent form for juveniles may be different than a consent form you give to
adults. I will act as the primary “researcher” so please use my information (which can be found
on the syllabus).
PART THREE: SURVEY INSTRUMENT (45 points)
You are required to include the following:
• Three demographic questions (age, sex, race, etc.) (3 points)
• Both open and close-ended questions (6 points)
o Remember, on a self-administered survey open-ended questions should be
able to be answered in one or two words.
• At least five statement questions with response categories (i.e., Likert-type scales) (5
• At least one contingency OR matrix question (4 points)
• Your survey should be at a minimum 15 questions (including the three demographic
questions). Remember that the questions should be relevant to the conceptual
definition of your variables. Also, do not include any more than THREE Yes/No
questions. (5 points)
• You will also be graded on the measurement of your independent and dependent
variables as well as consistency between your conceptual definition and your
measurement of these variables (i.e., content validity). Remember that having
multiple measures for each variable increases the validity and reliability of the
survey. (14 points)
o NOTE: It may be useful to refer to both generally published research as well
as research pertaining to your area of interest to gather ideas on what types of
questions are useful and appropriate. Be sure your questions are NOT a
replica of already published research; rather use your sources as a guide and
inspiration. If you do this, include references.
• You will also be graded on bias so make sure to avoid the survey question pitfalls. (4
• Finally, presentation matters. It should be well organized and look like a professional
survey. (4 points)
WORDS TO THE WISE:
• These assignments are intended to be very rigorous and I have extremely high standards
for them. I view them as being an opportunity to showcase what you have learned in this
• Please ask me if you have any questions regarding this assignment (particularly your
• The description provided here represents all the items on my rubric, including point
structure, there are no excuses for missing an item.
• I will utilize Turnitin via Canvas on these assignments in order to deter plagiarism. The
presence of plagiarism will result in a zero on the assignment.
o It is important to point out that sharing your assignment and/or a portion of the
assignment with a classmate can result in plagiarism. I recommend not sharing
your assignment with others in the class as any evidence of overlap between
assignments will be considered as plagiarism.
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